It has been 22 days since Pakistan has announced the closure of its airspace a day after India Air force jet violated Pakistan airspace by crossing LOC. Pakistan closed its airspace for commercial flights on 27 February and since that day flights from all over the world were asked to re-route. Due to this prolonged closure many flights have been rerouted and many were cancelled.
However, Pakistan has announced the opening of its airspace partially but only for those flights that are bound for its own cities. According to International Flight tracker Flighttradar24.com, the closure of Pakistan airspace is affecting nearly 400 flights daily.
India as a neighboring country of Pakistan widely uses Pakistan Airspace for its International Flights. Every week, India flies nearly 100 flights to US and Europe combined. Majority of these flights are over flied from Pakistan. Since the closure of airspace, India’s flights have to be diverted or cancelled.
Some of its US bound flights from Delhi are badly hit. They have to be diverted over Mumbai and then to the northward over Arabian Sea via UAE. For refueling and crew change it has to stop at Vienna and Austria. Previously it was stopped at Sharjah and UAE passing through the Pakistan airspace. Besides this, the flight timings have also increased by three hours causing difficulties for the passengers as well as for the aviation authorities as they have to schedule the flights and compensate with all the passengers.
Some sources claim that the closure of Pakistan airspace has also increased the rates of tickets prices in India. India has announced that the prolong closure of Pakistan airspace with no hope of reopening has caused a lot of problem for its US East coast flights.
Two Newly Launched flights suspended and cancelled
Air India launched a flight between Mumbai and New York in December, 2018 which is now facing suspension. Another newly launched flight between Delhi and Najaf (Iraq) is cancelled. The new dates will be announced after 30th April.
Air India at Massive loss
The Government owned Air India airline is suffering massive losses. The spokesperson said that Air India is already surviving on Government bailouts to incur heavy revenue losses.
Air India spokesperson Praveen Bhatnagar said we are definitely undergoing a loss in this situation since February 27. According to some reports India is incurring a daily loss of 3 crore INR. This is due to longer flight routes and technical stops.
Other Indian Airlines
Not only Air India but many other Indian private Airlines like Spice Jet and Jet airways are also suffering from the current situation and they have cancelled their flights between Delhi and Kabul to prevent any massive financial loss.